Even Amy Wax is Protected by Academic Freedom

Free Speech Website Management

Over at the American Association of University Professors’ Academe Blog, I have a post on the last brouhaha over Penn law professor Amy Wax and her views on immigration and the relative virtues of “First World” culture. There are those who say she should be fired or stripped of her teaching duties. There are those who say that she does not deserve the usual protections of academic freedom and that her speech rights should be curtailed. As usual, protections for free speech do not matter much when people are saying things that pleasant and agreeable. Our tolerance is tested only when someone says something unpleasant and controversial. Read the whole thing here.  A taste below:

The Wax case is not a hard case. She should be fully protected from employer sanction based on the content of the views that she has expressed in her public writings and speeches. This principle is foundational to the modern protection of academic freedom, and there is no exception for faculty speech that makes students uncomfortable or contradicts a dean’s opinion about the values of the institution. Wax is being criticized not merely for how she says things, but for the very substance of her ideas, ideas that are close to her scholarly endeavors. If her speech is not well inside the protected sphere of academic freedom, then academic freedom has little to offer those who might hold controversial views.

Of course, my views on the Wax case reflect the principles I elaborate and defend in my recent book, Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech, which oddly enough is available for purchase here.


This post has been republished with permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on Reason. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.

Read the original article.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Weekly Newsletter SignupTop Story of the Week

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the most popular article on the Libertarian Hub!